Age 7 (Ability Based)
The main focus of AA Softball is of fundamentals and concepts of playing softball. This level has an emphasis on fun and positive reinforcement through stations as well as learning and playing in game situations. This level is ability based and is structured to get all the players ready for the next level.
The A Softball Commissioner assigns coaches to teams, and players are then assigned to teams by the Commissioner with a goal of creating teams of players from the same school district. Players receive a uniform shirt, hat, and socks.
The spring season commences with the Woburn Little League Opening Day parade. All players are encouraged to march in the parade with their team. The season then runs from late April through mid-June, and typically ends on Father's Day weekend. The season concludes with "Weafer Day", where the players have an opportunity to play at Weafer Park. This is a special day for the players, as they get a chance to play on the Woburn Little League small diamond field, use the dugouts, and have their names announced when they come up to bat.
Practices are held during one Weekday night and on each Sunday mornings. Each session should last about 60 to 90 minutes. The weeknight session should be a practice where fundamentals are worked on (throwing, catching, proper batting stance and address at the plate, fielding position, fielding of ground balls, running the bases. Practices goal would be to have stations with volunteers to have the players rotate to work on different fundamental skills. Ideally, these stations are 15 to 20 minutes then rotate.
Sunday morning session should be a combination of skills with some game type situations. As the season goes on the Sunday session should be used for game like situations and scrimmage. The most important time spent is working on giving the kids solid fundamentals. These games will depend on how many girls register.
The structure of the game is for each batter to bat each inning. Volunteers will work with the players on positioning as well as where to throw but each half inning every batter should hit. Coaches ensure, when possible, the fielder takes a different position each inning. For first few games, it might be worth having a volunteer play first. Use each batted ball as an opportunity to make a play. Regardless of whether you can get the batter “out” on a fielded ball, have the fielders complete the play with a throw to first base or the closest base for a force. If a ball is hit into the outfield, encourage one player to get the ball and another to go out and grab the cutoff throw. All of this will help them to sharpen their skills and put into play what you are teaching them in the practice portion.
The focus is to be on building players’ fundamental softball skills. The expectation on this level is for kids to start to understand how to throw, catch, get in a proper fielding position, field a ground ball, catch a fly ball, get in a proper batting stance, make a proper swing and run the bases. This level will also start to learn Game-like situations. Constant reinforcement of these fundamentals is the key at this level. Sportsmanship is extremely important at this level and should introduce by teammates cheering for each other during at bats or drills.
Although not mandatory, teams typically employ a station's method of teaching during the practice time. Experience has shown that the kids will get many more repetitions, be kept busy and engaged, and allow the coaches to have the chance to work on many different skills with the players.
The primary method of batting in AA Softball is Coach Pitch or underhand toss. The goal on this level is for each and every player to be able to hit a pitched or tossed ball. It is very important for the coach to make the pitch on a plane and level as if coming from a peer of theirs. The goal is for the kids to transition from hitting off of a tee to hitting a thrown or tossed ball in preparation for Minors.